Last month, Resurgent Insider reported that Rob Powelson, a Republican member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and a leading opponent of Energy Secretary Rick Perry's Power Plan, was potentially gearing up for a run for Congress.
Lo and behold, it turns out that right before the week of Independence Day, when half of the political world was offline barbecuing and not reading political news, Powelson resigned from FERC to take a cushy job that allows him to stay firmly planted in Pennsylvania, better setting him up for said contemplated congressional run. Politico:
FERC Commissioner Rob Powelson shocked the energy world Thursday night when he announced he will leave the agency to lead a trade association for water utilities. Powelson, a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump, was one of the agency's fiercest critics of the administration's efforts to bail out struggling coal and nuclear power plants, but he told Pro's Darius Dixon that policy disagreements had nothing to do with his decision. He said he simply couldn't pass up the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a great job as CEO of the National Association of Water Companies that would allow him to nix the commute to Washington from his home near Philadelphia.
Powelson sounds like he'll make criticism of the Perry Plan a key focus in his new role, too. "I'm free to speak my mind now more than ever. And as a Philly boy, I will let it fly," Powelson told Politico. What better way to position as a Republican in an "environmentally-friendly" part of the Keystone State?
Powelson's departure may present a better chance for the Perry Plan making headway, however. President Trump is now free to nominate a more favorably disposed commissioner, who could enable the Commission to finally sign off on the plan. However, such a nominee will face Senate confirmation, which will be challenging with an impending Supreme Court Justice nomination fight.